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History of Animals   


A horse will recognize the neighing of any other horse with
which it may have fought at any previous period. The horse delights in
meadows and marshes, and likes to drink muddy water; in fact, if water
be clear, the horse will trample in it to make it turbid, will then
drink it, and afterwards will wallow in it. The animal is fond of
water in every way, whether for drinking or for bathing purposes;
and this explains the peculiar constitution of the hippopotamus or
river-horse. In regard to water the ox is the opposite of the horse;
for if the water be impure or cold, or mixed up with alien matter,
it will refuse to drink it.
25

The ass suffers chiefly from one particular disease which they
call 'melis'. It arises first in the head, and a clammy humour runs
down the nostrils, thick and red; if it stays in the head the animal
may recover, but if it descends into the lungs the animal will die. Of
all animals on its of its kind it is the least capable of enduring
extreme cold, which circumstance will account for the fact that the
animal is not found on the shores of the Euxine, nor in Scythia.
26

Elephants suffer from flatulence, and when thus afflicted can void
neither solid nor liquid residuum. If the elephant swallow earth-mould
it suffers from relaxation; but if it go on taking it steadily, it
will experience no harm. From time to time it takes to swallowing
stones. It suffers also from diarrhoea: in this case they administer
draughts of lukewarm water or dip its fodder in honey, and either
one or the other prescription will prove a costive. When they suffer
from insomnia, they will be restored to health if their shoulders be
rubbed with salt, olive-oil, and warm water; when they have aches in
their shoulders they will derive great benefit from the application of
roast pork. Some elephants like olive oil, and others do not. If there
is a bit of iron in the inside of an elephant it is said that it
will pass out if the animal takes a drink of olive-oil; if the
animal refuses olive-oil, they soak a root in the oil and give it
the root to swallow. So much, then, for quadrupeds.
27

Insects, as a general rule, thrive best in the time of year in
which they come into being, especially if the season be moist and
warm, as in spring.
In bee-hives are found creatures that do great damage to the
combs; for instance, the grub that spins a web and ruins the
honeycomb: it is called the 'cleros'. It engenders an insect like
itself, of a spider-shape, and brings disease into the swarm. There is
another insect resembling the moth, called by some the 'pyraustes',
that flies about a lighted candle: this creature engenders a brood
full of a fine down. It is never stung by a bee, and can only be got
out of a hive by fumigation. A caterpillar also is engendered in
hives, of a species nicknamed the teredo, or 'borer', with which
creature the bee never interferes. Bees suffer most when flowers are
covered with mildew, or in seasons of drought.
All insects, without exception, die if they be smeared over with
oil; and they die all the more rapidly if you smear their head with
the oil and lay them out in the sun.
28

Variety in animal life may be produced by variety of locality:
thus in one place an animal will not be found at all, in another it
will be small, or short-lived, or will not thrive. Sometimes this sort
of difference is observed in closely adjacent districts. Thus, in
the territory of Miletus, in one district cicadas are found while
there are none in the district close adjoining; and in Cephalenia
there is a river on one side of which the cicada is found and not on

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